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SHAZAM !: The Origin of the Most Powerful Mortal on Earth!

Discover the entire trajectory of the Most Powerful Mortal on Earth.


In this article, we will cover the creation of the character, the fights between publishers and the confusions of this icon that will soon arrive in cinemas interpreted by Zac Levi.

The actor during photocall at Hotel Unique, in São Paulo - December 8.

Many confuse it with the Super man, already thought he was the hero of Marvel Publisher, due to its name and so many other errors. It is worth remembering that the character of Marvel Publisher, called Mar-Vell.

Captain Mavel on the left and Captain Marvel on the right (Mar-Vell)

But who really is Shazam? Who is this being who has magic in his powers? Come on, try to talk a little bit about the character!


Created in 1939 by the screenwriter Bill Parker and by the designer CC Beck, the character first appeared in the magazine Whiz Comics #2, launched in February 1940, during the Golden Age of the comics. The Captain's name should have been Captain Thunder, and then modified to Captain Marvel (Wonderful in English). This was done on the eve of the launch, as there was already a character with this name, belonging to the publisher Fiction House.

The cover of the hero's debut edition is similar to that of Superman.

His design, which has hardly changed over the years, was his traditional red uniform, with its short yellow cape and golden lightning on his chest. The physical traits of the hero was based on the film actor Fred MacMurray.

For those who were critical with the hiring of actor Zac Levi (photo of Heroes), because he is “thin”, you can see from the image above that the actor has a certain resemblance to Fred MacMurray.

The hero from the start was a success, for being different from the more serious classic characters and having their alter egos always being adults. Super man just needed to put the glasses on to be Clark KentBatman take off the hood and it was Bruce Wayne, in addition to so many other characters like Ghost, etc. And he ended up overshadowing the almighty Man of Steel.

And seeing that, the National, holder of Azulão, filed a lawsuit in the courts for plagiarism (copy) against the Fawcett Comics. This confrontation in the courts lasted 12 years, ending in 1953, with an agreement proposed by the Fawcett, who gave up on the character. One reason for this was because the Captain Marvel no longer sold as before.

For two decades, 1950 and 1960, the hero was forgotten in the North American market, returning only during the 1970s. In Brazil, the character was normally published during the 1960s by the Rio de Janeiro publisher GERD.

Getting back to the basics of your success, Captain Marvel was successful precisely because it presented a different formula than Super man and Batman. In his origin (the original, as he had others during the years), and in short, the young man Billy Batson is an orphan who caught the eye of an old wizard who gave him fabulous magical powers and abilities, so that he defends himself to Stone of Eternity against Capital Sins. For that, he just needed to say the word SHAZAM!, who became the most powerful Mortal on Earth!

The word is the initials of six mythological figures, legends and not Gods as many write, because Zeus is really a god but not Solomon who was King of Israel or Atlas who was one of the Titans.

SHAZAM - The wisdom of ssoul, the strength of Hercules, the resistance of Thetlas, the power of Zselves, the courage to Thequiles and the speed of Mercúrio.

Billy talks to his mentors. Image from the 1974-1976 TV series.

The applications of powers

The Wisdom of Solomon it manifests itself in the form of advice that the Captain listens to mentally. This aspect also allows you to translate extinct languages, such as hieroglyphs. With Solomon's wisdom, Captain Marvel can also build extremely complex structures and mechanisms.

The strength of Hercules gives the character one of the greatest and most extensive physical strengths of comic books. With it, Captain Marvel manages to lift bodies with Dantesque masses, and to destroy extremely resistant materials. In Power of Shazam #46, it was shown that an arm wrestling between Superman and Captain Marvel lasted for hours through a contest in Fawcett City, and could not reach a winner if Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel had not become their powerful counterparts, sharing Shazam's power. When the hero was owned by Fawcett Comics, Captain Marvel was able to move and destroy planets and asteroids, to carry amounts of mass with no set limits.

The vigor of Atlas it grants invulnerability to the hero's body, and vast resistance to poisons and the ability to survive the vacuum of space. Some stories suggest that Shazam's power also grants incredible longevity, since Thunder, the successor to Shazam's power in the XXX century, received its powers from an aging Captain Marvel; and the original holder of powers, the magician Shazam, is 10,000 years old, since he was born at a time when Humanity was still a nomadic race. In an adventure by Fawcett Editora, Captain Marvel resists the explosion of a bomb sixteen million times more powerful than an atomic bomb.

For pronouncing the word “Shazam!“, He can cast a magic lightning bolt Zeus in order to switch from Billy Batson to Captain Marvel and vice versa.

This lightning does not damage it, although opponents who are in range can be injured. It has also been shown that he can make minor changes to his appearance by using the power of Zeus: once, in order to be able to open a bank account, he disguised himself as his father using his powers, and could also launch lightning, lightning, as an attack.

The courage to Achilles it allows him to overcome the most intense and vast panic or fear.

Like Mercury, allows Captain Marvel to run and fly at speeds close to the speed of light.

Note: The letters A of Thequiles and Themay vary according to each article. They only serve to complete the word shThezThem.

Black Adam, also says the name of the magician to transform. The villain draws his superpowers from Egyptian deities. They are: Shu (resistance, vigor); Horus (speed, ability to fly); Amon (super strength); Zehuti (wisdom); Aton (power) and Mehen (courage)

And in this way, young Billy from then on has a double life with many responsibilities. For in addition to continuing to be a child, that is why he was chosen to hold the powers of SHAZAM, due to his naivete, he as the hero, must fight villains as Dr. Silvana and Black Adam!

In addition to these powers, he still has the ability to transfer some of his power to other people. This way their sidekicks (partners) like Mary Marvel (lost sister of Billy) and Captain Mavel Jr., Freddy Freeman, the best friend of Billy were born.

A complicated start!

The character Captain Marvel for a long time was more popular than the Super man. Especially in the 1940s. The big reason was that the hero was a young man capable of becoming an adult, which attracted the younger readers, a different identification that these people had with the Super man, who was more paternal. From now on, with a simple word, they could be The Most Powerful Mortal on Earth!

A curiosity for this time, is that the Captain was so famous, that influenced Elvis Presley making models of clothes similar to the uniform to go on stage. And that information was made by James Robinson, author of comic books and creator of the series Leave It to Chance, winner of Eisner Award in "Best New Series”In 1997.

    “Elvis Presley wanted a unique haircut and in the 1950s, more precisely in Memphis, he couldn't do it because it was all short, in that style behind and on the sides. What he ended up doing was going to women's hair salons with copies of Captain Marvel Junior's comics, showing what he wanted and ended up having that look. And when you look at the photos with the cover, in Las Vegas, just put Captain Marvel's red and gold or Captain Marvel Jr's blue and gold and you already have a vision of how he was a fan. ”

But it wasn't all glories for Billy and the Captain. In addition to suffering from the processes of A.Dfor plagiarism, years later she would also suffer at the hands of Marvel Publisher due to the character's name.

In addition to suffering from the powers, DC also accused the magazine cover of plagiarism, as it used the same idea of Action Comics Magazine

Right after canceling the title, the Fawcett years later sold the rights of the Captain Marvel to the A.D, which brought him back to life in the 1970s. And it was here that the Marvel filed the lawsuits, now against the A.D. The home's solution Super man was to keep the original name of the character in the stories, but changing the title of the comics to the name of the wizard who gave Billy the powers, Shazam.

And that instead of helping, it hindered readers for decades, because it brought more confusion about the identity of Billy’s alter ego, if he was Shazam or Captain Marvel. This was only resolved in the 21st century, when A.D established that the character would be called Shazam definitely. This happened in the reboot From New 52.

In the hands of DC the character gained new stories, where he now lived in Fawcett City. The name of the city was a tribute to the former publisher of the Most Powerful Mortal on Earth. In addition it had its own world in the multiverse of A.D, the Earth-S, which was destroyed in the saga Crisis on the Infinite Lands of 1985, with the whole multiverse. Post Crises, the family of Captain Marvel joined beside the Society of Justice on Earth-2, where characters from the Charlton Comics how Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and Question.

The Black Adam

The mythology of Shazam it has had many changes over the years, but nothing very radical. Whoever had the most significant change was one of the hero’s greatest enemies, Black Adam. After being integrated into the DC Universe, the antagonist was reinvented as a tragic anti-hero, whose interest stands out from his opponents. This vision brought great stories to Adam, including with a family, marrying Isis.

Black Adam and Isis

The first appearance of the new version of the heroine in the comics took place in 2006. She was an Egyptian refugee named Adrianna Tomaz. Right after being enslaved, she is given as a gift to the Black Adam.

Adam, after getting to know her a little more, frees her and is surprised by her courage and strong points of view about the world, making the character change his opinion about the societies of the planet. For this reason, Adam delivers the Amulet of Isis to her, thus giving magical powers from the Goddess to Adrianna who can now transform into the heroine. The two lived in peace until the character's first death.

In version New 52, the powers of Black Adam does not come from the various gods, but from the very Wizard Shazam. He is also not a prince when he met the wizard, but a fugitive slave. Only after his first death / defeat for Billy Batson he is resurrected and this time he gains the powers of the Gods.

On TV in many ways

The oldest ones are much more reminiscent of the 1970s series. But there was a 12-episode series called “Adventures of Captain Marvel", with Tom Tyler how Captain Marvel and Frank Coghlan Jr. how Billy Batson. The series was created in 1941 by Republic Pictures. In 1943, Captain Marvel won a radio program with the participation of the actor Burt Boyer.

What many do not know is that the Captain arrived on the screens before the Super man. The hero of A.Dwon animated shorts in 1941, but in skin and bone, only in 1951 with George Reeves, entitled "Superman and the Mole Men".

In 1974, great success came through the Filmation, with 78 episodes. The exhibition was from 1974 to 1977 by the North American CBS. During this period, the series was called only Shazam. From 1975 to 1977, it came to be called The Shazam! / Isis Hour, and including The Secrets of Isis. The series Mighty Isis as it was called in Brazil, it told the story of a super heroine from ancient Egypt, resurrected in the body of a school teacher, as the second half of the program.

Jackson Bostwick
Powerful Isis

In Brazil, Captain Marvel passed by Rede Globo in 1975. Between 1986 and 1987, the series was shown by SBT and in the program “Bozo“, In 1989.

The characters were played by Michael Gray (Billy Batson), while Captain Marvel was first experienced by Jackson Bostwick, and then John Davey. The actress Joanna Cameron appeared like Isis and your alter ego Andrea Thomas, in three episodes of Shazam!, and Davey likewise appeared as Captain in three episodes of Isis.

In addition to the series being the main character, the hero had several important appearances in other series, such as in the animations Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, animated movies released directly to DVD as Superman / Batman: Public Enemies, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Superman / Shazam: The Return of Black Adam, in addition to the two games Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

And finally the Cinemas!

To the satisfaction of Shazam fans, Warner Bros. announced a hero movie for April 2019. The film is directed by David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle 2 - The Creation of Evil”) and starring Zachary Levi (TV series “Chuck”), As DC hero Asher Angel (TV series“ Andi Mack ”), as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (films“ Kingsman ”) in the role of supervillain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Peter Safran (from the still unpublished “Aquaman” and films “Invocation of Evil” and “Annabelle”) is the producer of the feature.

The story

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a little magic to bring it up. In the case of Billy Batson (Angel), just shout a word - SHAZAM! - so that this smart young adoptive 14 year old can become the adult superhero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an old wizard. Still with a child's heart - but in a healed and divine body - Shazam takes advantage of his adult version to do what any teenager would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Do you have X-ray vision? Can you shoot lightning from your hands? Can you ignore your social studies exam? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the cheerful recklessness of a child. But he will need to master these powers quickly to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

The actor during photocall in São Paulo - 08.12.2018

The cast of Shazam! also features Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT - The Thing”) as Freddy, Billy's best friend and great superhero enthusiast, and who is also part of the adoptive family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle 2 - The Creation of Evil ”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV series “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV series “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV series “Hawaii Five-O”). Cooper Andrews (TV series “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV series “Killer Women”) are Victor and Rosa Vasquez, adoptive parents, with Ron Cephas Jones (TV series “This is Us”) as the Mage.



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